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Pitcairn Islands Study Center

News - September 11, 2022

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  [California Study Center]

PITCAIRN ISLANDS STUDY CENTER, located on the campus
of Pacific Union College, 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, Calif., 94508


    ANGWIN, Calif., September 11 ----- Has the smallest, most remote dot of land in Queen Elizabeth II’s realm of nations and countries taken note of her passing?

    “Indeed, we have taken note of our Queen’s death, in several ways, and we’re right now in the midst of other matters relating to her death, and to the ascension of King Charles III, our new King,” a Pitcairn spokesperson said in an interview today with the Pitcairn Islands Study Center, located in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

    “Upon learning of the Queen’s death, all flags on Pitcairn were immediately hoisted to half-staff, and they will stay that way until the 10 days of mourning are over,” the islander reported.

    “An official Pitcairn Islands message of condolence was dispatched to the palace shortly after learning of her death.”

    The spokesperson said that on September 9, at noon, 96 strokes of the Pitcairn Island bell were struck in honor of the Queen’s age. “Life on Pitcairn virtually shut down tight during that lengthy and solemn ringing. The bell ringing is something we do for every person who dies here on Pitcairn; normally it is done on the day of the funeral.

    A Book of Remembrance was placed in the island’s Public Hall, open to everyone on the island who wished to sign and add a note of condolence. Royal Warren, 94, was one of the earliest writers in the Book. It will be left in the Hall until the official days of mourning are concluded. Visitors on Pitcairn are invited to sign the book, as well.”

    Today (Sunday) there will be a ceremony on Pitcairn marking the ascension of King Charles III to the throne. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the ceremony was moved to Sunday, possibly in deference to the Seventh-day Adventist faith of some of the islanders, who worship on Saturday, the biblical seventh day of the week. Normally Saturday is an island-wide day of rest on Pitcairn Island.

    The recently appointed governor of Pitcairn Island – Iona Thomas - will participate in the King Charles III ascension ceremony via video link from her office in Wellington, New Zealand, according to the island spokesperson.

    Pitcairn Island, located roughly halfway between Panama and New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean, is about one mile wide by two miles long, with a constantly changing population of some 50 persons. It is a cliff-ridden, volcanic outcropping in the Pacific Ocean.

    In 1789, the aftermath of the widely-publicized “Mutiny on the Bounty” brought some of the ship’s mutinous sailors and their Polynesia consorts to Pitcairn Island, where they hid away from detection and British justice for nearly two decades. Today a number of the Pitcairners trace their lineage to those early inhabitants.